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  1. #1
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Need some basic tire advice

    My son has a mountain bike with extremely knobby 26 x 2.10 tires. He is interested in mounting some smooth tires for use on roads and MUPS around town. I don't know much about tires but I have learned that my 700 rims can take a wide range of tire sizes from probably around 28c up to 35 or maybe even 38c. My son has 26" Bontrager Maverick rims. I assume he can mount a variety of tire widths. How do we figure out what the range is? Any optimum tire size for around town, flat surface cruising?
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown has a chart on his website that suggests tire widths vs. rim width.

    You'll feel the biggest difference, regardless of width, just by getting rid of the knobs.

    Practically, there are a number of tire widths that will fit those rims. The general rule is that narrower tires require more air pressure which makes them a tiny bit faster rolling but at the cost of ride comfort.

    Esthetically, tires that are narrower than about 1 1/2" start to look, at least to me, out of porportion and goofy on a mountain bike.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Traveler5's Avatar
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    There are tires for MTBs that are kind of a hybrid of sorts in terms of their knobieness. They have a somewhat smooth bead of tred that runs down the center of the tire for road ridding but yet have knobs everywhere else to be effective on a dirt trail and still make the MTB look like a MTB. For me, I wouldn't go too narrow. Like the poster above, it makes a MTB look a little silly.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    A good rule of thumb is that the tire should at least be 1.5 times as wide as the narrowest point of the inside of the rim it will be mounted on. 1" rim - 1.5" and above tires.

  5. #5
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I use the Kenda Kosmik Light II as a compromise tire for dual purpose use on both hardpack and asphault. The pressure range is 35 to 80 psi. While not pure slicks, they allow for multi media riding without having to have change tires all the time. Comes in 2 sizes, 26 x 1.75 and 26 x 2.0. This allows the retention of some of the plush ride characteristics and traction of large air volumn tires.

  6. #6
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    We sell a lot of Kenda Kwest 26x1.5 to people who want to ride their mtn bikes on paved roads and bike trails.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

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  7. #7
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    Three thoughts in the 50 to 80 psi range
    1. WTB Slickasaurus (26 x 1.5)
    2. Continental Travel Contqact (26 x 1.75)
    3. Maxxis Overdrive (26 x 1.75)

  8. #8
    reTIRED JustCruisin's Avatar
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    Continetntal sport 26x1.5 have them on mine and my wifes bike course there more hybred than mountain now anyway.
    It's Not the destination, It's the Ride.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    This is a can of worms. Not only width but riding style of the rider- and the main use it is put to.

    If the bike is now going to be used on the road as a commuter or for doing long distance riding (I.E.- used in the manner of a road bike) Then narrow is best. I still have a pair of Continental Grand Prix tyres that are the same as a road tyre on width at around 1" for if the MTB does a Road ride of more than 40 miles. To me it does not look odd but this is a "Performance" tyre with no drag and high pressure used.

    Then there are many different tyres that will act the same as a Mountain bike tyre except no knobbles for grip and these can go up as high as a 1.95. Used with the same pressure as an MTB tyre and the wide ones look wierd.

    But the normal width of tyre to use is around 1.5. Narrower if more speed is required-Down to 1.25- or wider if a clyde or rough rider that still wants to jump kerbs etc.

    Then rubber quality- It does differ. And the pressure to be used in them (There are high pressure taking around 100psi and the lower ones up to around 80psi) Pressurewill denote the type of tube- do not use a schraeder valve with the high pressure tyres and a presta valve will still fit into a rim drilled for Schraeder.

    Best thing to do is go down to the LBS and buy what they have.The actual tyre used will not have any effect on the performance of the bike. (Unless you do want speed and act like a roadie- in which case it has to be a narrow Grand Prix) And a slick tyre above 1.25 will still work on rough trails and even dry hardpack in the summer.
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  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    We sell a lot of Kenda Kwest 26x1.5 to people who want to ride their mtn bikes on paved roads and bike trails.
    I dislike the Kwest as despite it slickness... it is a slow rolling tyre.

    My favourite tyre for road and hardpack is the Schwalbe Hurricane HS 352... it rolls out fast at 75 psi and at 35 psi is an excellent off road tyre that I have used on hardpack and some very challenging singletrack.

    Schwalbe rates it very highly for speed and durability.

    Their longevity has been amazing (10,000 km plus) and puncture protection is excellent... I have had one flat over the many many miles I have ridden these and this was because of a valve stem failure at the base of the stem.

    And they still look like new.

    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 09-22-09 at 01:08 AM.

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post

    Then rubber quality- It does differ. And the pressure to be used in them (There are high pressure taking around 100psi and the lower ones up to around 80psi) Pressurewill denote the type of tube- do not use a schraeder valve with the high pressure tyres and a presta valve will still fit into a rim drilled for Schraeder.
    Please tell the airlines that as they use Shrader valves on tires that run much higher pressures than a bicycle (737 tires are 180 psi)... the only application for Presta valves is on bicycles while Shrader valves are used in high pressure applications everywhere.

    You can lose a little more air from a Shrader when you remove the air chuck or pump head but after that they hold pressure every but as well as a Presta.

    Not that bicycle suspension systems also use Shrader Valves and are run at relatively high pressure.
    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 09-22-09 at 01:07 AM.

  12. #12
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I dislike the Kwest as despite it slickness... it is a slow rolling tyre.

    My favourite tyre for road and hardpack is the Schwalbe Hurricane HS 352... it rolls out fast at 75 psi and at 35 psi is an excellent off road tyre that I have used on hardpack and some very challenging singletrack.

    Schwalbe rates it very highly for speed and durability.

    Their longevity has been amazing (10,000 km plus) and puncture protection is excellent... I have had one flat over the many many miles I have ridden these and this was because of a valve stem failure at the base of the stem.

    And they still look like new.

    Now that is an interesting tire for dual use. I may give that a try next season.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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